March 11, 2016
Today we all felt the relief of our first Friday here in Ghana, especially after a not so restful sleep on Thursday night. Overcome by the heat in the midst of a power outage, some of us took the advantage to go outside and spot the stars last night. Surrounded only in the company of friends, the smoky African air, and the occasional goat or rooster call, I had never seen anything so beautiful before. I had never felt as alive as I did in that very moment. Okay, so Teacher Lynette may have come to yell at us for being too loud so late at night, but I’ve got to say, it was still totally worth it. And I’ve had many significant moments similar to those during our journey thus far.
Today was our fourth day of teaching, and I still find myself overcome with anxiety before I lead a reading group or teach an Acting lesson. Despite that, the upbeat energy and openness of the kids brings me back to level. Every time a little girl asks you to be her best friend, or a little guy takes you by the hand to walk to class, everything seems to be happening just as it should be. Before leaving for this trip a teacher gave me some wise advice I thought I’d share. She told me not to worry too much about my teaching. Instead, she said to really let the kids teach me. Allow myself to be enlightened as to what gives them so much life. I’ve found that when I’m most present with that in mind, all feels right and well.
I finally feel like I had a successful day of classes! My kids created masks inspired by characters they came up with, and they seemed excited by the idea. It was rewarding watching them take creative license, and I was happy to see them so engaged even if they may not have understood the point of the acting lesson. Another note, Ghanaian kids love the camera, and they know how to work it, too.
Additionally, the reworking of the library seems to be coming along well. Teacher Victoria has taken charge of the project, with the rest of us helping from time to time, mostly in the afternoon as another service component after classes. I helped out with organizing books a bit this afternoon once I got too tired from our little “Friday Dance Party.” It took us all a while to recover from that one. The energy those kids bring is just amazing.
To top it all off, we finally got to try Fufu! Fufu is a popular dish here made from pounding plantains and cassava together. It definitely isn’t something we’re used to in the US, but the group seemed pretty satisfied. We’re soaking up as much of the culture as we can in between teaching and sleeping. Since tomorrow begins the weekend, we are going to explore a bit outside of the Essiam village where we’re living here in Ghana. Our other blogger for the trip, Rebecca, hasn’t been feeling too well, but either way, one of us will continue to update on our adventures here. Check back soon!